UPDATE 13/12/2023: Sadly today a military court gave Chaima a 12 month suspended prison sentence over remarks she made during a radio interview about the military’s role in the legislative elections of December 2022. We are calling for Tunisia’s authorities to quash this outrageous conviction from a military court immediately. Chaima also still faces charges for "conspiracy" for which she could face years in prison or even the death penalty.

Speaking out for what she believes is right runs in activist Chaima Issa’s blood. The daughter of a former political prisoner, Chaima speaks truth to power. Even if the cost is her freedom. 

When Tunisian president Kais Saied suspended parliament, dismissed the prime minister and took executive control of the country in July 2021 citing emergency powers, Chaima was one of the first to publicly oppose him. Since his power grab, human rights in Tunisia are more fragile than ever. Freedom of expression is under attack. Military courts target critics of the government, and the legal system lacks independence. 

After meeting foreign diplomats along with other Tunisian opposition figures to discuss the political situation in Tunisia, Chaima was arrested on 22 February 2023 as part of an investigation for alleged “conspiracy”. She was released on 13 July after more than four months of arbitrary detention, but the legal case is ongoing and the authorities have banned her from travelling abroad and “appearing in public spaces”. A military court, which lacks independence, is also investigating Chaima for criticising the authorities on a radio show. She faces decades in prison.

But Chaima will not give up. In the judge’s office Chaima exclaimed: “Is this Tunisia? Is this the Tunisia where we studied, you and me? Is this the Tunisia we dreamed of?” As she was taken to prison, surrounded by police officers, Chaima smiled, raised her fist and sang the national anthem.    

Demand Chaima Issa’s full freedom. 

Sign the Petition

  Our Petition

The President of Tunisia

Your Excellency

I call on you to immediately drop all charges and other restrictions brought against political activist Chaima Issa, who is unjustly banned from travelling and “appearing in public spaces”. She is being investigated for alleged “conspiracy” after meeting with foreign diplomats alongside other Tunisian opposition figures. A military court, which lacks independence, is also investigating Chaima for criticising the authorities on a radio show. She could face  decades in prison  for her peaceful political activism. 

Human rights in Tunisia have deteriorated, many courts lack independence, and freedom of expression is under assault. I urge you to refrain from adopting further measures that threaten human rights and to commit to upholding Tunisia’s obligations under international law.   

Yours sincerely